19 April 2020

Classics Club Spin #23

It's Classics Club Spin time again! Each Clubber has a personal list of 50-100 classic books that we have chosen to be our challenge list. For the Spin we pick 20 of those titles and put them into a numbered list. On April 19th the Club moderators will draw a number from 1 to 20 and we have to read that book on our list by the end of May and report back to the Club.

I've missed the last few Spins, but I'm in a reading mood now, so here's a list of books that I think I have on my shelves or can get for my Kindle. First publication date is in parentheses.

  1. At Swim-two-birds, Flann O'Brien (1939)
  2. Billy Budd and other Tales, Herman Melville (~1891)
  3. Candide, Voltaire (1759)
  4. The Dubliners, James Joyce (1914)
  5. Emma, Jane Austen (1815)
  6. Enemies, A Love Story, Isaac Bashevis Singer (1966)
  7. Eugénie Grandet, Honoré de Balzac (1833)
  8. Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain (1884)
  9. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë (1847)
  10. The Man in the Brown Suit, Agatha Christie (1924)
  11. Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works, Aphra Behn (<1689)
  12. The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, Gertrude Stein (1933)
  13. The Rainbow, D. H. Lawrence (1915)
  14. The Reef, Edith Wharton (1912)
  15. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (1859)
  16. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe (1958)
  17. This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1920)
  18. Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome (1889)
  19. The Vicar of Bullhampton, Anthony Trollope (1870)
  20. Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell (1864)

I'm looking forward to reading them all eventually, but I think I'd like to tackle Gertrude Stein's "The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas". Go #12!

UPDATE: The spin is #6, so I'm reading "Enemies, A Love Story", by Isaac Bashevis Singer. I know only a little bit about Singer: he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he always wrote and published in Yiddish. I'm looking forward to reading this novel!


  1. I hope you get the Stein too - she lived through fascinating times and was involved in some incredible moments in history.

  2. I will be reading Eugénie Grandet in May. Balzac is always a pleasure to read. I'm loving the French classics on your list.

  3. Some great choices - in fact one, that on certain days I will tell you is THE greatest novel - A Tale of Two Cities. Enjoy!

    1. Yes, it was a favorite of mine when we read it in high school. The teacher showed a very old B&W film version that I liked a lot, too. I should try to track that down and view it again, and re-read the book, too!

  4. I have read at least 6 of your titles, and enjoyed most of them. Perhaps the one that makes me laugh the most is Three Men in a Boat, a go to chuckle producer. And prophetic. The Man in the Brown Suit may be one of Agatha Christie's most autobiographical mysteries (not the mystery part, but the travels to and in Africa parts.) Emma and Huck are both great novels in their own way.

    Good luck.

    1. "Three Men in a Boat" isn't my spin pick, but I think I will read it soon. Several comments mention how funny it is and we all need funny right now!

  5. I've read about half of them, I agree with the poster above, Three Men in a Boat is a delight. I also loved Emma, Jane Eyre, and Wives and Daughters, and Candide is a quick, fun read. And you can always count on Trollope!

    1. Yes, Trollope is a favorite of mine. I finished "Can You Forgive Her?" and need to continue with that series. Also read 3 or 4 of the Barsetshire series. He is long-winded though! LOL!